My number 1 favorite fruit is coconut.

As long as I can remember I like everything coconut.

The water after a workout, the milk in my curry or smoothie, the flour for baking sweeties, the oil for my body. This list could be longer, much longer.

Coconuts are known for their great versatility, ranging from food to cosmetics. But not too long ago coconuts had a bad reputation as being an artery clogging, cholesterol packed food that contributed to heart disease. Today however, the coconut is making a huge comeback as the new miracle food. Coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. From culinary creations to magic beauty potions, coconuts pack a good punch. 

Let’s explore more of the amazing health benefits of coconuts and what they have to offer.

Coconut meat

This is the white flesh within the coconut. The coconut meat will vary depending on whether it’s a young coconut (with the green soft shell) or a mature coconut (with the brown hard shell). Young coconuts have very soft coconut meat similar to a gelatin. This soft coconut meat helps to restore oxidative tissue damage and contains a source of healthy fats, proteins, and various vitamins and minerals. Mature coconuts have a very hard, dense, and fibrous coconut meat with a stronger coconut flavor than young coconuts.

Coconut water

This is the clear liquid that is within the coconut. Young coconuts are the most health enhancing of the two. The water in the young coconut is one of the highest sources of electrolytes. Electrolytes are responsible for keeping the body properly hydrated so the muscles and nerves can function appropriately. Therefore it is more beneficial to drink the water from a young coconut after an intense workout rather than the commercial sports drinks we see advertised.

Coconut water is also low in calories, carbohydrates, and sugars, and almost completely fat-free. In addition, it is high in ascorbic acid, B vitamins, and proteins.

Coconut milk

This is the liquid that comes from grated coconut meat and is thick, creamy and white.

Coconut oil

Is the edible oil extracted or pressed from the mature coconut meat. This oil will be solid at room temperature and melts between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. When possible always choose organic cold pressed oil and stay away from any coconut oils that say hydrogenated. Not only is coconut oil great for cooking and eating, but you can also use it in your hair as a deep conditioner and as a skin moisturizer.

Although coconut oil is a saturated fat it is unlike the high calorie, cholesterol-soaked, long chain saturated fats. It is rich in a medium-chain fatty acid that can actually help boost metabolism and aid in fat loss. It is metabolized quickly and instead of fat sticking to your belly, it gets burned off as energy. It also helps detoxify your body and balances your digestive tract.

Coconut butter

Made by pureeing unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut meat, the ending result is a combination of coconut oil and coconut meat. It’s great to use instead of butter, it has a naturally sweet flavor and thick creamy texture.

Coconut flour

Simply dried and ground coconut meat. It’s high in fiber and great for gluten free, low carbohydrate baking.

Coconut shredded flakes

This is simply mature coconut meat either shredded into very small slivers or in large light flakes. Both are used in baking, raw desserts, and toppings. These can be toasted in an oven until golden brown for a nice toasted nutty flavor.

Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is derived from the coconut sap, the sweet juice extracted when the budding flower is just about to grow. This process offers a delicious, sweet taste similar to brown sugar with a hint of caramel, with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Coconut sugar is considered a low glycemic food and is diabetic friendly. Coconut sugar can be used as you would commonly use other sugars and sweeteners.

It seems like coconuts have many many health benefits.

Here is the top 10:

  1. Supports immune system health: it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasite

  2. Provides a natural source of quick energy and enhances physical and athletic performance

  3. Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals

  4. Improves insulin secretion and symptoms associated with diabetes

  5. Helps protect the body from cancers due to insulin reduction, removal of free radicals that cause premature aging and degenerative disease

  6. Reduces risk of heart health and improves good cholesterol (HDL)

  7. Restores and supports thyroid function

  8. Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infection

  9. Promotes weight loss

  10. Helps keep hair and skin healthy and youthful looking, prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots, and provides sun protection

 

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